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Selected Christmas ads, 1956
Sixty-five years ago -- December 1956 -- found America pretty much at peace. The Korean conflict for many was already a fading memory, and few citizens paid attention to the USA's then-miniscule presence in a far off place called Viet Nam.
The economy perked along nicely; Dwight Eisenhower was the President-(re)elect for four more years; and the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, passed just months earlier and funded by a one cent per gallon increase on the federal fuel tax, was the "open sesame" for many thousands of miles of interstate freeways. The hot gifts that year included Play-Doh and the Lone Ranger Cowboy Guitar. But meanwhile, back in The Shire...
Christmas events and sports news dominated the front page of the December 19, 1956, Adair County News, although a brief item at the bottom of page one reported, "Walter D. 'Jody' Richards, Columbia, has been named to the Freshman Debating Team at Kentucky Wesleyan College."
The correspondent for Montpelier section reported Malcom Bennett had received top dollar for his tobacco, one basket bringing $68/cwt and his crop overall came in at $64/cwt. From Chance came news Mrs. Allen Morrison had taken a turn for the worse; Eldridge Earls had suffered a stroke; and that "Our school is progressing nicely. They are planning on having a Christmas tree Friday, December 21."
Just about every store in Columbia either advertised Christmas specials or took advertising space to wish patrons -- current and future -- a happy holiday season. There were so many, in fact, the News had to expand its regular eight pages to 12 to accommodate all the merchants.
Four favorites from this edition of the paper are shown: Columbia Florist & Nursery, Greensburg Street; Meadow Hill Inn, Burkesville Street; Ed's Ky. Auto Store, west corner of the square; and Nell's Variety, south corner. (The Columbia Florist & Nursery opened in early 1954; it was owned by Mr. & Mrs. Rives Kerbow and located in the basement of their home.)
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More articles from topic Jim: History:
Christmas around the Square, 1931
An Adair Co. Author: Mary Allen Grissom (1883-1963)
Around The Shire, mid-October 1931
Memphis to Big Creek, 1936: Mr. W.L. Grady's wild ride home
Four miles to Columbia: a long ago journey recalled
August 1961: Sports briefs, and a question of time
Bits and pieces from across the county, early August 1931
Late June - early July, 1936: Events around The Shire
Spicy news bits from June 1931
1931: Talkies arrive; and the Royal Columbians Orchestra
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